The environmental risks and impacts of offshore wind are real, but its responsible development in Australia will help combat climate change impacts and help protect fragile marine ecosystems, environment groups argue.
A number of environmental groups are among the 27 organisations that have signed a letter to federal energy and environment ministers Chris Bowen and Tanya Plibersek and NSW Premier Chris Minns.
It comes ahead of Sunday's rally in Newcastle in support of the proposed Hunter Offshore Wind Zone.
The letter calls on the Australian Government to issue feasibility licences for the Hunter Offshore Wind Zone so that a detailed assessment of genuine environmental concerns can begin.
"Some members of the public have been critical of the consultation process so far. Issuing feasibility licences moves the process to the next stage where genuine environmental concerns can be heard and addressed through the environmental impact assessment process," Hunter Jobs Alliance coordinator Justin Page said.
"The Australian Government needs to ensure improved community consultation occurs in this crucial phase."
The organisations are also calling for reforms to the National Environmental Laws to enshrine a fair say for the community and clear protection for threatened wildlife habitat, including new measures to protect wildlife in the offshore environment.
"The reform of Australia's national nature protection laws that will strengthen up front protections for wildlife and habitat, and enshrine a fair say for the community in the assessment and decision making processes are urgent," Hunter Community Environment Centre coordinator Johanna Lynch said.
"While this is happening, the government must ensure that the existing provisions of the EPBC Act and any additional provisions to account for especially sensitive migratory bird species, are applied to thoroughly assess environmental impacts of the proposed projects."
NSW Nature Conservation Council chief executive Jacqui Mumford said the process was critical to achieving optimal environmental outcomes.
"Strategic, meticulous environmental assessment of the licence area, in which proponents draw on local knowledge and expertise and cooperate to assess and avoid impacts from the outset on environmentally sensitive areas, is of utmost importance as the feasibility licence stage approaches," Ms Mumford said.
The government estimates offshore wind will create 3000 construction and 1500 ongoing jobs in clean energy manufacturing across the Lower Hunter.
Stevedors Joanna Tavita and Jasmine Loades will be among those rally in support of the Hunter Offshore Wind Zone.
"I'm looking forward to the community coming together and getting some more knowledge about wind turbines and what it will mean for Newcastle and the Hunter Region, Ms Loades, who is the fifth generation of her family to work on Newcastle's wharves, said.
Ms Tavita said she believed there was strong support for offshore wind in the Hunter.
"I do and I know a lot of my friends do," she said.
"It's about securing jobs for our future and making sure we are heading in the right direction with renewable energy."
Sunday's rally comes ahead of an anti-renewables, dubbed 'Reckless Renewables', rally at Parliament House, Canberra on Tuesday, which will be attended by representatives of the No Coastal Wind Farms, Port Stephens group.